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Kimball Office Chairs Article

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Anatomy of an Office Chair
Nick Telford

The office chair is ubiquitous in every part of the office
- in cubicles, the CEO's room, conference rooms, the
cafeteria, the reception area and more. Whatever the area,
the purpose is singular - to sit down in a comfortable and
healthy manner.

The office chair is no longer just another piece of
furniture. A lot of thought and science goes into designing
office chairs. This is because a wrong selection of office
chair can be harmful for your health.

The principles of ergonomics are frequently used to provide
a pain free work environment. Here are some key points to
look out for in a well-designed office chair -

1. Chair Height - The height of the office chairs should
be easily adjustable. For this, the office chair has to be
fitted with a pneumatic adjustment lever. The lever should
be able to move your chair height between 16 to 21 inches
from the floor.

This is important so that the user can sit according to the
height of the table. The office chair should not be too
high or so low, that the user is slouching or straining at
the table. Elbows should be at a 90 angle to the table.
The feet should be flat on the floor.

An important thing is to ensure that the knees are at a
lower height than the hips. This encourages the natural
'double C' curvature of the spine that provides upright
support to the body.

2. Chair width and depth - The office chairs should be
wide enough to support users of any size. Usually, the
office chair width should vary between 17 to 20 inches. The
chair depth is the area from the front of the seat to the

The office chair depth should be big enough for the user to
sit back against the backrest with 2 to 4 inches left
between the knees and the seat of the chair.

3. Armrests - Adjustable armrests of office chairs allow
the users' elbows, arms and shoulders to be rested

4. Backrests - The backrest of the office chairs should
vary between 12 to 19 inches. Again, like all parts of the
office chair, the backrest should also be adjustable enough
to move forward and backward as the user desires. A small
cushion can be placed against the small of the back to
provide a natural curve to the spine.

5. Swivel - Work in the office requires moving around the
desk area - moving from the computer to the file cabinet or
reaching out for the phone. The office chair should be able
to rotate to enable the user to do all these things without
putting the body through difficult contortions.

About the Author

Nick Telford worked in office environments for more than 30
years. A few years ago he developed back problems, and
discovered it was due to bad posture in his chairs. He
decided to reaearch office chairs, and find out exactly
what is the best way to sit for 8 hours a day or more...
now he's written a series of article to help others.

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